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Gaza report is 'unacceptable'

GAZA CITY: The Palestinian movement Hamas yesterday rejected as "unbalanced" a UN report which accused both Israel and the Palestine of committing "war crimes" during the Gaza war.

"It is a political, unbalanced and dishonest report in that it puts on the same level those who committed the crimes and those who resisted," a Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismael Radwan said.

The damning report, released in New York earlier yesterday, found Israel violated international humanitarian law during its assault on Gaza eight months ago in response to rocket attacks on Israel.

The four-member probe panel "concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly in some respect crimes against humanity were committed by the Israel Defence Forces," the head of UN probe, former international prosecutor Richard Goldstone said in New York.

Israel also dismissed the report, saying that it was "one-sided."

"Both the mandate of the mission and the resolution establishing it prejudged the outcome of any investigation," the Israeli foreign ministry said.

Reacting to the report, Amnesty International said that the UN Security Council must follow through on the report and take the steps necessary to ensure that the victims receive the justice and reparation that is their due and that perpetrators don't get away with murder.

Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian activists yesterday unveiled the most detailed vision yet of what a peace deal could look like - more than 400 pages crammed with maps, timetables for troop withdrawals and even a list of weapons a non-militarized Palestine would be barred from having.

The manual has no official standing, but has generated interest among Israeli and Palestinian leaders and is meant to show it's still possible to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.



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